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Recurrent nova M31N 2008-12a: Swift UVOT detection of the 2017 eruption

ATel #11121; M. Henze (SDSU), M. J. Darnley (LJMU), A. W. Shafter (SDSU), S. Kafka (AAVSO), M. Kato (Keio University), S. C. Williams (Lancaster), for a larger collaboration
on 2 Jan 2018; 14:59 UT
Credential Certification: Martin Henze (henze@ice.cat)

Subjects: Ultra-Violet, Nova, Transient

Referred to by ATel #: 11124, 11125, 11126, 11130, 11133, 11134, 11144, 11149, 11214

We report the UV detection of the 2017 eruption (ATels #11116, #11117, #11118) of the rapidly recurring nova M31N 2008-12a (Henze et al. 2014, 2015a, 2015b; Darnley et al. 2014, 2015, 2016) in data obtained with the Swift observatory ultra-violet/optical telescope (UVOT).

Within the framework of a comprehensive monitoring campaign we obtained the first UVOT data of the 2017 eruption on 2018-01-01.22 UT; only 11 hours after the discovery on 2017-12-31.77 UT (ATel #11116). The nova was clearly detected with a uvw2 filter (Vega) magnitude of 17.2±0.1 mag (uvw2 central wavelength 193 nm) in a 1-ks observation.

The magnitude estimate is preliminary, assumes the UVOT photometric system (Poole et al. 2008), and has not been corrected for extinction. Nothing is detected in the corresponding Swift XRT exposure. We will continue to monitor the UV and X-ray evolution of this exceptional nova.

We wish to thank the Swift Team for the rapid scheduling of the observations, in particular B. Cenko, the duty scientists, and the science planners.